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Donald Izacus Pandjaitan

Donald Izacus Pandjaitan Indonesian general

Indonesian general
The basics
Quick Facts
Intro Indonesian general
Was Military personnel
From Indonesia
Type Military
Gender male
Birth 9 June 1925
Death 1 October 1965, Jakarta (aged 40 years)
The details

Donald Isaac Pandjaitan (9 June 1925 – 1 October 1965) was an Indonesian general who was killed during a kidnap attempt by members of the 30 September Movement.

Early life

D.I. Pandjaitan was born in Sitorang, Balige in the Tapanuli region of North Sumatra. After completing elementary and high school, with the arrival of the Invading Japanese, he underwent Japanese Giyugun military education. He was then posted to Pekanbaru, and was there when Indonesian independence was declared on 17 August 1945.

Career with the Indonesian military

In November 1945, Pandjaitan, together with other young people, helped establish a local branch of the People's Security Army (TKR), initially serving as a battalion commander. In March 1948 he was appointed commander of the commander for organization and education of XI/Banteng Division at Bukittinggi, West Sumatra. Not long after, he became fourth deputy commander (supplies) for the Sumatran Army Command, then when the Dutch launched their second "police action" against the republic, he was put in charge of supplies for the Emergency Government of the Republic of Indonesia.

After the Dutch recognition of Indonesian sovereignty in 1949, Pandjaitan was posted to the headquarters of the Sumatran Division in Medan, and on 2 January 1950 became head of the operational staff of the I/Bukit Barisan Division. He was then transferred to Palembang, South Sumatra and appointed deputy commander of the II/Sriwijaya Division. From October 1952 to July 1957, he served as the military attache to the Indonesian embassy in Bonn, West Germany. Upon his return to Indonesia, he joined the Army General Staff. He attended a course at the US Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth from December 1963 to June 1964. He then took up his final post as fourth assistant to the Army chief of staff.


In the early hours of October 1, 1965, a group of members of the 30 September Movement left the Lubang Buaya (lit: Crocodile Hole) area on the eastern outskirts of Jakarta to seize a number of key military figures and take them hostage. Pandjaitan was one of the senior military figures they planned to take prisoner. The group broke the fence near Pandjaitan's house in Jalan Hasanuddin, Kebayoran Baru, South Jakarta, and shot and killed one of the household staff who was sleeping on the ground floor of two-story house before calling on Pandjaitan to come down. Two of the young men involved at the time were Albert Naiborhu and Viktor Naiborhu. Both were seriously injured during a fight when DI Pandjaitan was kidnapped. Albert died shortly afterwards. After the attackers threatened his family Pandjaitan came down in full military uniform and surrendered. Pandjaitan was then shot and killed by a mob which was manipulated by the PKI. His body was put in a truck and taken back to the movement's headquarters at Lubang Buaya. Then his body along with those of a number of his colleagues who had also been killed were thrown into a nearby well (a lubang). The bodies were discovered on October 4, and all were given a state funeral the following day. Pandjiatan along with the other prominent military figures who were killed in the early hours of 1 October 1965 are buried at the Kalibata Heroes Cemetery in South Jakarta. Pandjaitan was posthumously promoted to major general and awarded the title 'Hero of the Revolution'.

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